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When anxious, most people will focus on physical symptoms (ie stomach aches, head spins and so on).

Anxiety is a normal physiological response to unhelpful thoughts. However, it becomes an issue when it is frequent or interferes with progress or enjoyment of life.

If children have an understanding about anxiety and an opportunity to discuss their feelings, this is the first step to relieving some of the stress.

Here are some useful strategies to begin alleviating your childs’ (and your own) anxiety:

  • Encourage your child to talk about worry or fears. Have a codeword or sign language if they aren’t willing/capable of discussing it at length.
  • Teach them about anxiety. Let them know it is a natural physical response to thoughts (fight or flight response) and that they can create more positive thought processes to reduce the anxiety.
  • Help them recognise their anxiety and become empowered. You can do this by asking these questions:
    • If you woke tomorrow with no anxiety, what would you do?
    • What do you feel might help you?
    • If you are anxious, how would your family or teachers know?
  • Praise progress and encourage disclosure and self-awareness.
  • Encourage them to do things for other people to shift their focus.
  • Model positive language and behaviour.
  • Start a ‘courage journal’. They can either write or draw in this on a regularly basis (daily or weekly), detailing things they have done that have taken courage.

With the help of some psychological and neuroplasticity strategies, your child’s anxiety can be reduced and you can help them feel proud and confident.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.com
  • Some good ideas here, thank you.

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  • My nephew lives with us and I’ve been feeling as though he may have anxiety. He seems as though he is always on edge. Hopefully this might help

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  • Great advice. Will have to remember these.

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  • Love the idea of the Courage Journal, will definitely give this a go with my little girl.

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  • Anxiety is so difficult for grown ups to deal with, and we kinda know what’s going on, I can’t imagine how it must feel for a child :(

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  • Talking and leaving the lines of communication help children through a lot of problems.

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  • Some great tips, thank you.

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  • I wish i had some one to do this for me when i was a child

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  • I have a very anxious little 3 year old and am trying to help her work through this. It’s so difficult when she can’t express her feelings well.

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  • Hi. If you\’d like to email me at jacqueline@avidityassociation.com.au I\’d be ham apply to give you some strategies for confidence. I also have some blogs on my websites.
    http://www.avidityassociation.com.au
    And http://www.brainscape.com.au
    Regards
    Jacq

    Reply

  • An interesting article. Sometimes my miss 7 is anxious and worried about things and finds it hard to talk about, then she ends up bursting into tears and pouring everything out. While it isn’t anything huge, normally she had a fight with a friend at school and she thinks the next day no one will talk or play with her. It is good to find some suggestions to help her work out her feelings on situations. I especially like the concept of the courage journal and think I will help her create something similar for when she starts at her new school next year. Thanks for the info.

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  • Thanks for sharing this thoughtful article with good strategies.

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  • do you have any advise on low self esteem? for girls

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  • Anxious parent = anxious child = meet me!

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  • Some great strategies for children there. Good to keep this in mind.

    Reply

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